Week 3 College Football Scouting Guide

Game of the Week

Clemson Tigers at Louisville Cardinals

 

When Clemson Has the Ball

Clemson Prospects Louisville Prospects
#8 WR Deon Cain #14 DT Drew Bailey
#13 WR Hunter Renfrow #99 DE James Hearns
#34 WR Ray-Ray McCloud #10 CB Jaire Alexander
#80 TE Milan Richard #22 S Chucky Williams
#75 LT Mitch Hyatt
#55 RG Tyrone Crowder

 

Even without Deshaun Watson running the offense, the Tigers still have the playmakers outside to create big plays and put points up on the board. Looking to slow them down will be the Cardinals top cover man Jaire Alexander (#2 CB) who uses his speed and change of direction to stick with receivers. Alexander plays the right corner so he will likely see his fair share of Cain (#5 WR), Renfrow (#8 WR) and McCloud and show off his complete skill set. If Alexander is able to shut down his side it could allow Chucky Williams and the rest of the secondary to roll coverage the other way.

The other big match up to watch here is Hyatt (#2 OT) vs the Cardinal pass rushers and mainly James Hearns. Hearns isn’t an overly explosive athlete but can use leverage well to attack offensive tackles. Hyatt has the lateral agility to mirror pass rushers, but struggles to lock down defenders. If Hyatt wants to establish himself as a top prospect in this class and a first round pick, he needs to dominate matchups like this.

 

When Louisville Has the Ball

 

Louisville Prospects Clemson Prospects
#8 QB Lamar Jackson #42 DT Christian Wilkins
#7 RB Reggie Bonnafon #7 DE Austin Bryant
#9 WR Jaylen Smith #99 DE Clelin Ferrell
#74 LT Geron Christian #34 WLB Kendall Joseph
  #6 SLB Dorian O’Daniel
  #29 CB Marcus Edmound
  #31 CB Ryan Carter
  #23 FS Van Smith

 

No bigger match up here than Lamar Jackson (#6 QB) facing off against one of the most talented defenses in the nation. Jackson is no slouch throwing the ball, but he does most of his damage with his legs running for big plays. Looking to contain him is this big athletic Clemson defensive line. All four starters have a great shot of being drafted in the first round when they declare. Up the middle is Wilkins (#1 DL) and Dexter Lawrence (not draft eligible) while Clelin Ferrell (#3 Edge) and Bryant will come off the edge. The key for them is to rush aggressively but not break contain. They’re all good enough athletes to do so which could force Jackson to win from within the pocket.

 

Top Individual Battles

 

Notre Dame LT Mike McGlinchey vs Boston College DE Harold Landry

The ACC is loaded with quality left tackles, but when scouts and NFL teams want to take a look at Landry (#2 Edge) this will be one of the first games they look at as he’ll see plenty of McGlinchey (#4 OT) who is getting his own hype. McGlinchey has solid short area burst and uses that along with his length to cut off defenders. What gives McGlinchey fits is he struggles as the play goes on and tends to lunch and get off balance. He’ll be tested by Landry who is an explosive athlete who really attacks the edge and then uses his agility to get underneath and bend the edge. After struggling with the Georgia pass rushers, McGlinchey could use a big game here to regain his stock, while Landry is looking to build off of his 22 sacks last year that lead the nation.

 

Colorado State WR Michael Gallup vs Alabama Secondary
Gallup (#9 WR) exploded for 134 yards against Oregon State during week 0 looking like the best player in the game and one of the top receiver prospects in the nation. The next week Colorado was able to hold him in check (67 yards) and it raises questions if he can compete against the best players in the country. He’ll get that chance against Alabama who has one of the best secondary’s out there. Gallup is a savvy route runner whose able to set up his routes with the threat of going deep. Players like Anthony Averett and Tony Brown are two corners Gallup will see and both have the speed to run and play catch up. If Gallup is going to have a big game he’ll have to really show his route running and jump ball skills.

 

Mississippi State LT Martinas Rankin vs LSU OLB Arden Key
Making his season debut because of a shoulder injury, Arden Key (#1 Edge) is one of the best prospects in the nation. At 6’6 255lbs the LSU pass rushers has great size, speed and some unsuspecting power. While Key’s snaps will be limited he’ll still get a chance to go against Rankin (#6 OT) whose getting some early first round attention. Rankin lacks good lateral agility which has hurt him against speed rushers in the past, but he makes up for it with strong hands that allow him to lock onto defenders and shut them down. Key’s speed will give Rankin fits, but if he’s able to show improved lateral quickness and use his power, it should only enhance his stock and keep the hype going.

 

Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerrald vs LSU Defense
Heading into year two under Dave Aranda we all knew the LSU defense was going to be good and through two games stats back that up as they’re allowing only 170 total yards per game and 5 points. While they’ve only played BYU and Chattanooga the Tigers will get their first true test against division rival Mississippi State. While the Bulldogs don’t have elite level receivers they do have an underrated QB in Nick Fitzgerrald (#10 QB). Standing at 6’5 225lbs Fitzgerrald has the arm strength and accuracy that NFL teams crave. Head coach Dan Mullen has a good track record with QB’s (Alex Smith, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott), so many are looking at Fitzgerrald to be the next one. He’ll get tested against LSU, but if he’s able to look good with not so great weapons that could start the hype train earlier than expected.

 

Texas LT Connor Williams vs USC OLB’s Porter Gustin and Uchenna Nwosu

While the overall game may not be too exciting seeing Williams (#1 OT) go against the Trojan pass rushers is a reason alone to watch the game. Williams is light on his feet and has the ability to slide and mirror pass rushers and projects as an elite tackle prospect. Williams still has work to go and does struggle with penalties early in this season. He’ll be tested against USC who has two different types of pass rushers. Heading into the season Gustin (#8 Edge) got most of the attention because of his size (6’5 260lbs) and athletic ability, but he’s been outshined by Nwosu (6’3 245) early this season. Both are good athletes but Gustin (who may not play because of injury) will provide more power while Nwosu uses his speed to attack. Williams has all the potential in the world, but he needs to show more consistency if he wants to be a top 5 pick like his skill set suggests.

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